Tue, 13 Oct 2020
AWARD-winning pub, restaurant and hotel The Miller of Mansfield was hit by a fire over the weekend, resulting in major damage.
The fire began in the Goring restaurant’s kitchen on Sunday morning. Staff and guests were evacuated.
However, the fire caused damage to the water system in the 17th century Grade II-listed building and The Miller has had to close for the time being.
Co-owner Mary Galer – who manages the business with her husband, chef patron Nick – spoke to the Newbury Weekly News about what happened.
The Galer family were getting the pub ready for a busy Sunday lunchtime. Mrs Galer said: “I was on breakfast service. I smelt something funny and thought that the chef had maybe started some Yorkshire puddings.
“When I went into the kitchen, she said: ‘Oh, it’s a tea towel in the tumble dryer.’
“We both went to the tumble dryer and there was nothing – it just really smelt. Then the fire alarms went off. Again, we went back to investigate – nothing had happened, there was no fire.
“I went to the alarms, turned them off, went upstairs to check that anybody had come out of the hotel rooms. Five minutes later, my colleague came to me and said, ‘yep, there’s a fire’.
“The fire alarm then went off again and I went to look at the tumble dryer.
“I realised that we now needed to get everybody out – it wasn’t massive, but I could see sort of some smoke coming out.
“I then basically went round every hotel room, banged on the doors and got everyone out.”
Seven members of staff live semi-permanently on-site.
A team of sprinters from Hertfordshire-based Centurion Running had stayed overnight and were evacuated to a fire point outside the pub.
The swift response of emergency fire crews from South Oxfordshire was praised by Mr Galer for saving their building and business.
The community rallied round with offers of support for the much-loved restaurant and drinks and bacon sandwiches were provided by the village’s Pierreponts Café. The runners also got to work, ferrying refreshments across the village for staff.
The Galers are currently awaiting an insurance assessment.
Mr Galer posted his thanks on Twitter: “Thanks to all for your concern and thoughts.
“We’re going through the process with the insurance people.
“Hot water system is proper knackered.
“A combination of a fire door, the alarm system and the brilliance of the fire brigade saved the building.
“Hoping not too longtime get back.”